The Patriots are now the owners of the best record in the NFL so clearly they are learning their lessons, so it’s time to hit the books once more in this week’s Then and Now.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis Then: Served a secondary role in the Patriot’s game plan against San Diego running for 24 yards on 11 carries and no touchdowns.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis Now: Serving as proof that New England can have a running game whenever Bill Belichick declares it so Green-Ellis had two touchdowns and 112 yards rushing on 17 carries as he punched holes in Minnesota’s defensive line all day.
Lesson Learned: It’s getting creepy at this point. You can’t help but feel like the Patriots can and will score whenever Belichick orders it. Be it through Tom Brady’s arm of on the ground what Belichick says, goes and he seems to have a gameplan for everyone.
Tom Brady Then: Went 19 for 32 in his passing attempts and completed one touchdown pass in a game that fell on the shoulders of his kicker.
Tom Brady Now: More of the same from number 12 as he went 16 for 27 and another touchdown. His silence was more by design this week though as it was his running corps that got the job down for New England against the Vikings.
Lesson Learned: Brady has had at least one touchdown and has completed more than half of his attempts in every game this season. The Patriots 6-1 record can be attributed to his consistency as much as Belichick’s game plan. The bottom line? If Brady plays like Brady the Pats can almost guarantee a win
Patriots Defense Then: In the face of Phillip Rivers and the Chargers the Patriots defense blinked allowing San Diego to throw for 325 yards and one touchdown. Lucky for them the Chargers were sloppy with the ball, turning it over four times.
Patriots Defense Now: After jumping out of the frying the pan that was Phillip Rivers the Patriots went right into the fire that was Brett Farve, Adrian Peterson, and Randy Moss. Once again the opposition racked up yards on the young defensive corps, gathering up 410 yards of offense. The Patriots stopped them when it counted though as the Vikings only converted two of their four trips to the red zone.
Lesson Learned: Much to the chagrin of NFL head coaches Bill Belichick has managed to squeeze the most out of his young plays with their “bend but don’t break approach”. Despite allowing 773 total yards of offense in their last two games the Pats have made the stops when it counts holding their opponents to four conversions in eight total trips to the red zone. Maybe Bill really is a genius.